Handling Serpents: Pastor Jimmy (Paperback)
Jimmy Morrow, a pastor and serpent handler for over a quarter of a century explores the history of serpent handling from a variety of sources, including his extensive familiarity with families whose roots are deep in Appalachia. As a native Appalachian Jimmy has access to histories unavailable to outsiders. While not formally trained as a historian, Jimmy's own narrative of the Jesus Name tradition is a unique contribution to not only Appalachian studies, but to the history of what many have prematurely thought to be a tradition whose obituary is soon to be written. Jimmy's astounding photographs and his keen insight to the power of this tradition that he proudly upholds suggests that while unlikely ever to be a dominant form of religious expression, it will continue as perhaps Americas most unique form of religion that persists in Appalachia despite laws against the practice of handling serpents. This is an extraordinary personal account of a unique form of religious devotion and dedication. It will be of interest to anyone interested in Appalachian culture or religion in the South.